Office return mandates: Do employers really want staff back that often?

Report claims employers expect low compliance with smaller office space

Office return mandates: Do employers really want staff back that often?

Mandatory office-return policies are starting to take a hold of workplaces across the world, but a new report suggests that employers are only inflating on-site days amid low compliance expectations.

The report from Fortune said that organisations aren't expecting staff to meet their mandated target days on-site, which is why they're blowing up the number of in-office days.

"So, when we see a company say four days a week back in the office, usually they're expecting around three, so that means they're now going to be planning their portfolio, their footprint, and the type of space they need around that three day a week model," Sue Aspey Price, EMEA CEO for real estate services group Jones Lang LaSalle, told Fortune.

According to the executive, this is because employers "just know" about human behaviours and patterns, as well as travel, sick days, and holidays.

A report from recently Perceptyx revealed that employers are no longer pushing existing staff to return to the office as hard as they did initially, as the on-site pressure is transferred to new hires.

Insufficient office space

Mandating a lot of in-office days could also be a struggle for organisations as the report found that many of them no longer have enough office space to accommodate returning employees.

"If everybody followed the policies that are being put out there, a lot of companies don't have anywhere near enough space," Aspey Price told Fortune. "If every working team came in on those days, the chances of them having enough space are almost non-existent."

This is likely why attendance rates aren't increasing despite growing mandatory in-office policies, according to the report.

A growing number of employers have been rolling out policies to encourage more office days among staff. Amazon, for instance, have begun tying office attendance to promotion assessment.

It also granted its managers the power to terminate employees who still refuse to comply to the company's office-return policy.

Reports on whether managers are exercising this authority, however, have yet to emerge.

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